New OEM Agreement Puts The Dell EMC Brand On Entire Aerohive Portfolio

Dell EMC and Aerohive Networks are attempting to streamline the sales and support process for partners with a new OEM agreement.

The agreement allows Dell EMC to sell Aerohive's full portfolio of Wi-Fi access points and HiveManager cloud management platform as Dell EMC-branded solutions and means Dell EMC channel partners looking to sell Aerohive can deal directly with a single vendor.

"Partners are buying from one party, getting support from one party," said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager of Dell EMC networking. "Partners can rely on Dell for delivery, execution, and support as they extend the portfolio."

[Related: Dell Technologies Reveals New Tier Thresholds That Some Partners Find 'Challenging']

Michael O'Brien, Aerohive vice president of global channels, called the partnership a "giant confirmation of our strategy and product offering," and said it would allow the company to compete more effectively against networking giants like Cisco and HP Aruba.

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"We're fighting against some giants," O'Brien said, "but the largest IT vendor in the world looked at all the technology and asked what is the most aligned to their vision and strategy. We look at this as confirmation of our strategy, and that helps partners sell. They can point to this as confirmation in the marketplace and say these technologies are catching fire."

The validation that Dell EMC brings to Aerohive technology also puts partners in a position of strength, O'Brien said.

"When a VAR walks in and says I'm with Aerohive and I'm working with Dell and have the support of both vendors, that's a powerful message," O'Brien said. "Customers want to buy wired and wireless solutions from vendors where they have everything in common. Now you have integration with Dell switches. Customers don't want to piece-part all of this together.

Dell EMC has been reselling Aerohive products for about a year-and-a-half and has co-branded the Milpitas, Calif., company's HiveManager cloud management platform for the last year. Under those agreements, Dell EMC supports the unified access network market through its Dell EMC N-Series fixed-port, stackable Ethernet switches with Aerohive wireless access points. This architecture is administered via an integrated, Dell EMC-branded version of HiveManager NG that provides control and network service applications for the unified network.

Dell previously had a similar arrangement with Aruba Networks, but that relationship ended when Aruba was acquired by rival Hewlett-Packard in early 2015.

The new agreement allows Dell EMC and its partners to market a unified Wi-Fi and switching solution managed by Aerohive's cloud and carrying the Dell EMC brand. It includes collaborative sales, marketing, support, services and logistics capabilities. "We take the level one and level two calls now," Burns said. "It gives the customers a better experience as far as support. Dell will have inventory in our hub, and the support [partners] can sell through is all with Dell. So if you're an existing Dell partner, or one looking to take on a networking portfolio, it's one throat to choke."

Dell EMC for the better part of four years has fought a networking battle pitting its "open" approach against traditional networking giant Cisco Systems and arch competitor HPE.

Dell EMC's open solutions run on standard architecture and orchestration tools; optional SDN/NVO controllers; any networking operating system; open standard hardware and circuitry rather than traditional networking's proprietary architectures, tools, operating systems and circuits, Burns argues.

"This closes a hole, and it's a smart move for [Dell]," said Stephen Monteros, senior vice president at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif., solution provider that works with Dell EMC. "The benefit to the channel is vendor alignment around integrated go-to-market. Dell had a wireless hole since Aruba was acquired by HP."